Archive of ‘Restaurants’ category

Jersey Girls Food Tours: Start Something Challenge

Jersey Girls Food Tours is participating in The Start Something Challenge of 2017. Shout out to Alessia Aron and Janis Borroto – the girl bosses behind the brand. Check out the JGFT promo video to get them to the next round, and check back here when voting begins on July 14.

Cheers,
JCG

Beat Street Restaurant: First Look

Finishing up the decor. Photos courtesy of Ivan Orama, designer of Beat Street.

Beat Street – a hot new restaurant occupying a portion of the v. cool Transmission space at 150 Bay St. – is gaining a lot of buzz in Jersey City.

 

If you haven’t read up on it yet, or just want to know more, here you go.

 

Let’s start with their pre-opening on Wednesday, June 14. Rather than just, say, have a soft-launch open, Beat Street’s “sneak peek” is a benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The cocktail party will feature several musical acts, and there will be an open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres, as the full kitchen is not open yet.

 

Then, when the restaurant officially opens on Thursday, June 22, there will be a pay-what-you-want fundraiser, with all proceeds from the evening going to The Sharing Place Food Pantry at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. (Stay tuned for my recap!)

 

Here’s the story behind the conception: Howard Brunner, the man behind Transmission, the 5,000 sq.ft 2-yr.-old nightclub, wanted to evolve the environment into a “multi-sensory experience.” So he partnered with nightlife curator KC Macias and celebrated chef Darryl Harmon to open Beat Street, a 100-seat restaurant, bar, lounge and performance space within.

 

The name Beat Street is a tribute to the 1984 movie of the same name, so the entire inspo is breakdancing, DJ’ing and graffiti. Think: street art, street food, street music. But a little more upscale. Brunner explains, “It’s a juxtaposition of gritty street life with high-end touches that truly makes it a distinctive experience.” How Jersey City is that, for you?!

 

Decor is getting its final touches now by Ivan Orama, a New York City artist known not only for murals, but handmade furniture, like this Wu-Tang Clan table, which is a replica of an old-school cassette tape.

His client list is impressive, so I’ll let that speak for itself. And the work at the restaurant in progress…

 

Beat Street will feature a bar, a lounge (with a grand piano!), a dining room, and later, will have wrap-around outdoor seating space. Darryl Harmon, the chef (who also has an impressive list of clientele), is “excited to see guests’ reactions” to the menu. He’s using the street food theme to “get real funky,” which has resulted in the Rocka Falafel Waffle, a combination of pressed falafel and waffle with mint frozen yogurt, Harissa infused syrup, Raita and micro borage.

All of the menu foods are experimental takes on the familiar, and each dish has a very specific way of being presented: Nachos are Frito-based and served pouring out of a Frito chips bag,  A Sloppy Joe will arrive in a custom graffiti lunchbox (no two are alike) with other fun items like a liquid-nitrogen powered root beer float, and you may get a mini trash can or a street cart as your food’s delivery vessel depending on your order. The serving aspect “will be quite a show.” says Harmon.

As for the vibe, KC Macias, who has yet another impressive track record, will bring an eclectic mix of live music to Beat Street, encompassing all genres. “I’m talking about raw, street music, including salsa you would hear in the streets of Havana, and jazz that you’d hear off of Bourbon Street” he says, but emphasizes that Beat Street is welcoming, “like you’re in your living room being entertained in a cool way.”

Beat Street will be open from 5-11pm, Tuesday – Saturday, starting on June 22.

I can’t wait to check it out! Check back here after the opening for my experience at Beat Street.

Eat Drink Groove ~
JCG

 

Jersey City Craft Brew Fest [Saturday, June 3]

Jersey City Craft Brew Fest is back! If you missed the first one ever this past Fall, you may want to see what it’s all about.

Try over 150 craft beers from local breweries while overlooking the New York City skyline and listening to live music at Harborside Plaza Atrium (Exchange Place).

Find your new favorite summer brew from the eclectic offering of local beers and ciders, and have the chance to speak with brewery representatives.

And, of course, there will be plenty of food vendors to help soak up all that beer.

TICKETS

*General Admission $65, which includes unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass

*SAVE $20 WITH JERSEY CITY GAL PROMO CODE: jerseycitygal

*Choose between two sessions: 12-4pm & 5:30-9:30pm

*(Non-drinking) Designated Driver $15

*Purchase at jcbrewfest.com

*Adults 21+ Only: No kids. No Dogs.

*Parking $5

 

Taste & Enjoy,
JCG

UberEATS

UberEATS has arrived in Jersey City, partnering with Hudson County and over 100 of the best local restaurants to get your food to you faster.

It’s as easy as Uber: Download the app UberEATS on your smartphone (or go online to ubereats.com), order from your favorite local restaurants, and get excited as you track your delivery in real time. Use the app to explore other local restaurants you have yet to try and discover something new.

Some of my faves made the list, like The Hamilton Inn, Just BeClaws, Iron Monkey, Ayame Hibachi & Sushi and Elysian Cafe.

Dan Richer, owner of Jersey City’s Razza Pizza Artiginale, uses UberEATS exclusively for delivery: “Uber has logistics down to a science and I am super confident in their ability to provide the same level of care in delivering our food as we provide our guests in-house,” he says.

Give it a try and report back with your thoughts.

 

To being lazy,
JCG

Dulce de Leche Bakery

Dulce de Leche Jersey City

Dulce de Leche in the Heights (376 Central Ave.) is my new favorite hangout spot in Jersey City and here’s why:

Awesome espresso and coffee is just the beginning.
dulce-du-leche

The space is big and bright, thanks to the high ceilings and lighting, and is perfectly upscale while still being welcoming of the mixed clientele. The staff is a bit flummoxed, as they are still figuring it out, but so are the customers, who are still figuring out where they now live or figuring out the changing landscape of where they have always lived.

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We Heart Coffee

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Resident Renee Lucas asked me about my favorite coffee shops, and I thought this required a post rather than a simple response.

While I have yet to try every spot (most independent shops are far from my house), I asked my trusted friend and 20-year resident of JC to help me create the list.

Here are is our collective answer:

Beechwood Cafe: Nothing, nothing beats their inviting ambiance on a cold winter day. Lots of bright light, very friendly servers if you sit on the restaurant side, which I recommend you do, and that very special feeling when your hot chocolate or latte arrives in an oversize mug with beautiful designs on top. I was here on one of the saddest days of my life last year, but I couldn’t help but smile.

Gia Gelato: This neighborhood spot has a variety of different coffees (as well as food and gelato). I’ve had regular over ice and a cafe mocha. Both were standard. While I haven’t tried the food, I hear it’s good, and the two gelatos I had here were lovely. GG also has “punch cards,” so your 10th coffee (or gelato) is free.

Mod Cup Coffee: While MC has a brick-and-mortar location on Palisade Ave., still has its wheels (follow them @modcupcoffee on twitter for locations), I think we all died over Travas’ British accent and his explanation of the importance of fresh coffee beans (imported from the source and brewed within 18 days) at the farmer’s market. Truly unique and very, very good.

Choc-O-Pain: The latte, pastries made on site and the quiche are winners according to the several who voted this French bakery and Cafe with various locations in Hudson County. The cozy atmosphere and nice art only add to the appeal. One commenter said: Their chocolate pastry “soothes the soul.”

Vogue Cafe

Dames Coffee Espresso Bar

Dulce de Leche: Whether a weekday or weekend, Dulce de Leche always has a good crowd. Beyond excellent coffee, a wide pastry selection, grab-and-go items and did we say delectable desserts??, the bakery’s lunch menu allows those who want to take advantage of wi-fi and ample seating to work through the hour sustained.

Lackawanna: The super bright ambiance and friendly baristas help you begin your morning and carry out your day. With ample seating and a beautiful backyard, many of Jersey City’s self-employed residence use thier as their office for the day.

The Cliff: The newest addition to the Heights, The Cliff offers a variety of drinks that are extremely customizable due to a plethora of dairy and non-dairy products and range of sweeteners. Also, for what they lack in indoor space, they have a cozy back deck – no other place in the area has a backyard.

Short Grain

Congress Station: The first coffee shop to open in the Heights in years (sparking others to open locations here), Congress offers a neat variety of coffee and espresso drinks. Good for on-the-go, as there are a few seats inside and out.

Ground Connection: Bringing back old school styles of brewing, GC expertly weighs and measures every single shot and cup to get a blend perfectly balanced for your personal preferences.

Sam A.M.: This place gets a lot of buzz, but since I don’t know anyone personally who’s been here, I’d just say enter at your own risk. Update: Read about my great visit here!

What are your suggestions, Jersey City? Let me know in the comments section.

Let’s get caffeinated,
JCG

 

Ground Connection

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I recently visited Jersey City’s newest coffee addition addiction, Ground Connection, located at Harborside Plaza 10.

Owner Scott Gillman (of Jercey City’s Markers Restaurant) and director of the coffee program, Alex Mastrando, who is the head chef, went to different places in the city New York City “to see what was working and what wasn’t” in the coffee industry, while the head barista and store manager, German Chabur, visited Seattle and Atlanta coffee conventions to do the same.

The result is awesome “third wave” coffee in a fast-casual environment [Ed. note: “first wave” is mom-and-pop shops, “second wave” is Stabucks, et al]. “Third wave coffee means we are bringing it back to basics using real espresso with real machines and actually weighing everything properly,” says Alex as he shows me their Italian espresso machine, which is one of few in the U.S. and uses technology that just came out last year.

ground-connection

“You can go to a coffee chain, where the machine will weigh the coffee and the barista will push a button, but this machine can figure out the weight from the dry—it’s amazing technology,” says Alex. “The machine allows us to weigh exact grinds, program the weight, and create a ratio. So you give it the ratio, you give it the grind, and it automatically calibrates as it’s coming out. It gets that perfect ratio and its always going to be in balance. That allows us to keep our coffee consistent.”

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Jersey City Craft Brew Fest 10/15/2016

 

craft brew fest jersey city

Jersey City is hosting its first Harborside Craft Brew Fest on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Try over 150 craft beers from local breweries while overlooking the New York City skyline and listening to live music on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway at the Harborside Plaza Atrium (34 Exchange Place).

It’s Jersey City’s own celebration of Oktoberfest. Find your new favorite brew from the eclectic offering of local beers and ciders, and have the chance to speak with brewery representatives.

And to soak up the beer, there will be plenty of food vendors on site.

Choose between two sessions: 12-4pm & 5:30-9:30pm.

TICKETS

*General Admission $60, which includes unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass

*(Non-drinking) Designated Driver $15

*Tickets can be purchased online at jcbrewfest.com

*DISCOUNT WITH JERSEY CITY GAL PROMO CODE: jerseycitygal

*Early Bird Pricing available (check site for details)

*A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Morris Rugby, which raises funds and awareness for youth rugby throughout the region

NOTES

*Adults 21+ Only: No kids. No Dogs.

*Smoking allowed but only in designated area.

*Once you leave the premises, you cannot return.

For more information, click here.

 

Taste & Enjoy,
JCG

Hudson Restaurant Week Summer 2016


restaurant_week_jerseycity

Because this side of the river has increasingly become a place of destination, this summer’s Hudson County Restaurant Week (7/25-8/5) is particularly poignant. All of the quickly established new additions to our classic faves are creating crazy flocks of foodies.

Find the full list of participants and their menu selections here.

My personal reviews of participating restaurants previously published on my blog are… [use the upper right search bar and type].

Tweet me @jerseycitygia if you have any inquiries because it’s likely I a) have an unpublished review b) an update to an older review in the works or c) know a gem so well I’m not going to share with all, but maybe with you 😉

Try something new & let me know your experience,
JCG

Jersey City Freedom & Fireworks Festival

FreedomandFireworks2016

YAAAS, Jersey City. Shout out your Fourth of July Freedom from the rooftops, or just join the party on ground level at Liberty State Park for the Freedom & Fireworks Festival.

Here we have live bands, carnival rides, food & drink, and of course…fireworks on the Hudson River.

The best way to get to Liberty State Park is probably by bike, considering the long walk you will have by car or PATH methods. The next best option is the Light Rail. Please read NJ Transit Advisories for the Fourth of July Freedom & Fireworks Show to plan your trip for maximum fun.

See you there!
JCG

 

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